Rick Crawford interview
Tuesday, March 7, 2023 – 9:30 a.m.
Rick Crawford was Ambrose Garrett's personal assistant.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him in his office at Garrett Insurance.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Rick Crawford
Detective Murphy: For the record, would you please state your name and address?
Rick Crawford: My name is Richard Crawford, but most people call me Rick, and I live at the Rebel Inn, 2133 South Lamar Boulevard.
Detective Murphy: Thanks for taking time to talk to us today. I imagine things have been hectic this week.
Rick Crawford: I think every single client has called at least three times.
Detective Murphy: How are you holding up?
Rick Crawford: I'm doing okay. It's still hard to believe.
Detective Armstrong: How long have you worked here?
Rick Crawford: I started part-time last year.
Detective Armstrong: What was it like being Ambrose Garrett's personal assistant?
Rick Crawford: Mr. Garrett was a man who knew what he wanted and didn't mince words. In that way, working for him was easy because I always knew exactly what he wanted from me.
Detective Armstrong: In what way was it difficult?
Rick Crawford: He would attend the different conventions. You know, nurses or dentists or plumbers. Garrett Insurance would have a booth, and I'd have to staff it, talk people up. He'd always find a few pivotal people, and then we'd have to wine and dine them.
Detective Murphy: You'd go with Mr. Garrett?
Rick Crawford: He thought it would impress potential clients if his assistant was there at the table to take notes and retrieve whatever he wanted from his briefcase.
Detective Murphy: How did the two of you get along?
Rick Crawford: I worked for him long enough that I knew how to read Mr. Garrett and respond accordingly.
Detective Murphy: What first attracted you to the insurance business?
Rick Crawford: I don't know. I was looking for something new, something that could grow into a long-term career.
Detective Armstrong: Did Mr. Garrett use the conventions to, shall we say, step out on his wife?
Rick Crawford: Not at all.
Detective Armstrong: You never saw him acting a little too friendly with other women, other men?
Rick Crawford: I never saw anything like that. He loved Delilah. I don't think he ever even noticed other women in that way.
Detective Murphy: Was he having trouble with any particular clients?
Rick Crawford: Mr. Garrett was a charmer when he wanted to be. Someone could call swearing, and 30 seconds after I transferred them to Mr. Garrett, he'd have them laughing.
Detective Murphy: Has that happened a lot lately, angry clients calling?
Rick Crawford: No. I'm just generalizing. Over the years, policies got lost, checks were late, claims were denied. You know.
Detective Armstrong: Did Mr. Garrett complain to you about anyone in particular?
Rick Crawford: It may seem strange, but we weren't really close in that way. I could read his moods, but he didn't talk about things other than business as it related to me. I mean, he talked, but he was a salesman. It wasn't personal.
Detective Murphy: Did Mr. Garrett drink much at these conventions?
Rick Crawford: He drank socially. He was trying to make people comfortable enough that they would talk insurance and perhaps even sign on the dotted line. It was all about closing.
Detective Murphy: Did you see him drink on other occasions?
Rick Crawford: I only saw him at work or work-related events. Like I said, sometimes he drank socially when he was with clients, but I never saw him drink in the office.
Detective Murphy: Did he take drugs, gamble?
Rick Crawford: Not that I know about. That doesn't sound like him at all. What are you trying to do? Are you trying to make this his fault? Blame the victim?
Detective Armstrong: It's a little hard to believe that Mr. Garrett was such an angel. You've painted a picture of a man who does no wrong.
Rick Crawford: He was complicated. There was the side he showed the world, and that's all he showed the world.
Detective Armstrong: You ever get a peek at the other side?
Rick Crawford: I could tell when he was acting because I worked for him so long, but what he was acting to cover up, I really couldn't tell you. He didn't show that other side to me. I can't help you with that.
Detective Murphy: As long as you tell us the truth, you're being helpful. You are telling us the truth, aren't you?
Rick Crawford: Yes.
Detective Murphy: You're not just selling us a story to make us happy? To make Mr. Garrett look good?
Rick Crawford: Mr. Garrett was the salesman, not me.
Detective Murphy: Do you know anything about his life outside of work?
Rick Crawford: No, not really.
Detective Murphy: Do you know anything about his role in his neighborhood's homeowners association?
Rick Crawford: I know he was president of it.
Detective Murphy: How do you know that?
Rick Crawford: Sometimes he'd ask me to make copies of things: meeting agendas, meeting minutes, flyers, stuff like that.
Detective Armstrong: Did anyone ever call him at the office about HOA business?
Rick Crawford: Not very often. Anytime someone did, he wouldn't take the call and told me to tell the person to call him at home.
Detective Armstrong: How did they respond to that?
Rick Crawford: They weren't happy, but I didn't give them a choice. What Mr. Garrett said went, period. There was no way they were going to talk me into putting them through to him.
Detective Armstrong: You worked for him, what, two years?
Rick Crawford: Almost three.
Detective Murphy: What leads you to believe he loved his wife?
Rick Crawford: The way he talked to her on the phone. Mr. Garrett was always having me order flowers for her. He never missed their anniversary or her birthday.
Detective Armstrong: When did you last see Mr. Garrett?
Rick Crawford: Friday afternoon. I was getting ready to go home for the day, and he asked me to make some copies for him first.
Detective Armstrong: Copies of what?
Rick Crawford: The agenda for the HOA meeting.
Detective Armstrong: You didn't see him at all over the weekend?
Rick Crawford: No. On weekends, I work my other job at the Rebel Inn, and I visit my aunt. She's in a nursing home and always appreciates a little company.
Detective Murphy: It's good of you to visit her so regularly.
Rick Crawford: She took me in after my parents died, so it's the least I can do, even though she doesn't always remember who I am.
Detective Murphy: That must be hard.
Rick Crawford: It is what it is.
Detective Armstrong: Let's flash forward to a possible future. It turns out your boss was murdered, and we make an arrest. Who did it?
Rick Crawford: I don't know.
Detective Armstrong: What image flashed through your head? What was your first thought?
Rick Crawford: A random stranger.
Detective Armstrong: In my experience, people are usually killed by someone within their circle.
Rick Crawford: I wasn't saying a stranger killed him. That's just what went through my mind.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, thanks. That's all we have for now, but we might have more questions later. Will that be a problem?
Rick Crawford: You know where to find me.
Detective Murphy: Yes, we do.
Interview ended – 9:48 a.m.